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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Green Resolutions for 2009

Happy New Year; it's time to break out the organic champagne!  Looking for a way to go greener in the coming months?  Here are a few resolutions to consider:
1. Eat local.  Join the movement popularized by books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and do what you can to buy and eat local foods.  Eating locally also means eating seasonally, since the produce of any region varies throughout the year.  For some help planning menus, check out the cookbook Simply in Season, (although even better resources are probably available in your own area). 
2. Offset your carbon emissions.  Use a carbon emission calculator like this one to calculate the yearly emissions of your family or business, then purchase offsets from a reputable seller such as Native Energy.  Offset companies should use your funds to clean up environmental problems or create alternative sources of energy.
 
3. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs.  These super-efficient bulbs fit in normal fixtures, consume a negligible amount of electricity, and should last over a decade with normal use.
4. Freecycle.  When you do your spring cleaning, what happens to things you don't need anymore?  If you don't donate them already, consider using Freecycle to find them new homes.  Freecycle helps connect people with used items they need, reducing the demand for new products.  
5. Go for a year (or more) of zero waste.  It sounds almost impossible, but pioneers like No Impact Man have shown us that it can be done, even if you have a family and live in New York City!  If that's a little too extreme, do what you can to reduce, recycle, reuse, and compost your way through the new year.
creative commons image by Gaetan Lee

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